I pull onto a private road that goes back into one of those McMansion neighborhoods. All clean lines and faux luxury finishes. Lush parks only seen by toddlers and nannies and midrange luxury vehicles when little Ethan and Tad play soccer.
The house is at the end of a long street ending in a cul-de-sac and only has one neighbor. The lot to the right appears to be some kind of guard house. Figures that this neighborhood would have its own private security.
To the left the house is a standard two story with windows streaming in light. Hell, even the door has windows. It’s the ultimate show piece. Look at my glass house and all the fabulous toys.
The house to the right has the same arrangement but all the windows are silvered and reflective.
And there is something off that I can’t put my finger on. These are supposed to be wedding photos…so where are all the cars?
Anyway, the jobs the job. I park on the street and get out my camera bags. Time to schlep like a sherpa. I really need an assistant. But assistants cost money…maybe an intern…
There isn’t a doorbell so I put down my bag, gently, and reach for the door knocker when a voice from a hidden intercom says, “Look up, into the camera.”
Startled, I look around until I see the camera perched in the upper right.
The feminine voice demands, “State your name and business.”
“Jonathan Franks. No relation,” I say with a smile. “Wedding Photographer.”
“Hold out your arms, perpendicular to your legs,” the voice states.
Rolling my eyes, I set down my other bag and hold out my arms. What are they going to do laserscan me?! This is such bullshit. I’m adding an asshole surcharge to the bill.
I jump when hands start running along my arms and back.
“What the fuck?!,” I demand.
“Sir, just hold still and this will be over soon.” That same feminine voice from behind me this time.
Mentally adding 5% to the surcharge, I hold still. Every nook and cranny is poked and prodded.
These rich bitches. Security as status symbol. Like it wouldn’t be in the camera cases if I was smuggling a weapon.
“Ok sir. Walk with me to the security building and we will get you processed and x-ray your gear.”
Fuck this. I’m hitting them with my 50% crazy bastards surcharge. Even with that, I know this is gonna be a shit gig.